FREE Benefits Screening

Each client and their families will be screened to see if they are eligible for over 38 federal or state benefit programs, see some that are listed below.

Federal or State Programs

Food Stamps
The Food Stamp Program provides food support to low-income New Yorkers including working families, the elderly and the disabled to increase their ability to purchase food. To receive Food Stamp benefits, a household must qualify under eligibility rules set by the federal government. Are you eligible?

Health Insurance
New York State offers free and low-cost public health insurance programs for low-income New Yorkers. These plans provide medical care through a fee-for-service or a managed care plan. HRA/DSS, through its Medical Assistance Program division (MAP), is responsible for the administration of public health insurance. MAP determines and maintains eligibility, based upon income and/or resource levels, for each of the available health insurance programs and their related services.

Individuals and families can qualify for public health insurance even if they have income, own a house, own a car, have a bank account or receive private health insurance. Persons and families who are low-income, or receiving SSI or cash assistance, are automatically eligible. Pregnant women, children, persons over 65 and people with disabilities are also eligible.

Energy Assistance
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps low-income homeowners and renters pay bills for heating fuel, equipment and repairs.

HEAP is a federally funded program that assists eligible households with grants to pay regular and emergency energy heating costs. The benefit does not have to be paid back. As the Local Department of Social Services (LDSS), HRA/DSS administers the program in New York City.

Cash Assistance
Eligible families may receive up to 60 months of federally funded cash assistance under the Temporary Aid to Needy Families Program (TANF). Single individuals without children may receive benefits under the New York State Safety Net Program. Also, families who have received cash assistance for 60 months may continue to receive benefits under the New York State Safety Net Program.

Temporary benefits include:

  • A cash grant that includes a shelter portion, energy assistance grants, and additional money to assist with other expenses;

Childcare Assistance
There are many types of child care programs in New York State. Quality programs provide care in a warm, safe and friendly setting. Quality programs provide activities that help children learn and develop. No one type of program is necessarily better that any other type of program. You are the best judge of which program will meet your needs and your child's needs.

Public Housing
Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from scattered single family houses to high rise apartments for elderly families. There are approximately 1.2 million households living in public housing units, managed by some 3,300 HAs.

WIC Program - Women, Infants, Children
The Special Supplemental Nutriton Progam for Women, Infants and Children. (WIC) provides nutritious foods including low-fat or fat-free milk, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, breastfeeding support or formula to low- income pregnant or breastfeeding women, infants and children up to age five.

WIC has been shown to improve the health of pregnant women, new mothers and their infants and children. The foods provided through WIC are a good source of essential nutrients that are often missing from the diets of women and young children. WIC participants have longer healthier pregnancies and fewer premature births.